The Best Gift Received, Is the One Where Memories Were Made

When I was a little girl, my parents' house was always filled with music.  The holidays were spent with family members and friends playing instruments and singing old favorites, while we either joined in or ran around playing with the sweet sound in the background.  These are special memories for me, and I sometimes wonder what my children will remember of music in their childhood.   We decided to give our parents the gift of music this year, for all the wonderful memories of music they have given to us.  We wanted to create a memory for them as a family…Tony's memories and mine, combined into something new…with our children carrying on this love of an art form that flows through us all in different ways. 

Antonia has just recently found her voice, and I will be honest…I didn't think she was ever going to be able to sing a lick.  But the girl surprises me daily, and I should know by now that she will do anything to prove me wrong.  But what surprised me even more, was the way she went from peeking around the corner of the control room, afraid to come in…to walking into the vocal booth like an old pro and singing her little heart out.  

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The first memory I have of singing in front of people was probably around age six or seven.  My mom asked me to sing a song from the musical "Annie" for my grandfather.  I was shy and nervous, but I loved every minute of it.  From then on, my father would ask me to sing for neighbors and family friends on summer nights around campfires, and as I grew older, I sang at every opportunity.  But I was always shy.  It always made me nervous.  I was always uncomfortable in front of an audience.  But at five years old, my daughter blows me away.  She was so tiny in that booth, but her presence was enormous.  I am just so proud to be her mommy. 

While Tony and I were working on our vocals, Nia and Sammy played in the next room.  When we took a break, we noticed that she was drawing something on an app on my tablet...

"It's you, Mommy!  You are singing in the microphone and that's Daddy on the computer!"  I think Tony might have scooped my heart up off the floor and placed it back into my chest for me. 

This post is more for me than it is for you.  I want to document my memory of this day because Tony and I probably cried for at least two days afterwards every time we thought about the whole experience.  In the almost ten years we've been together, it was the first time we ever sang together, and to have our child sing with us was just such a gift.  When we are no longer with them, we know they can still hear our voices.  And I hope that they will remember how much love we had for each other and for them.  I hope they will always remember what Christmas really means, and I hope that music will be a special part of their childhood memories.  

It's nowhere near perfect, but it was a labor of love.  Music brought us together in the very beginning of our story, and it continues to weave its way in and out of the pages of my life.  I welcome it every time.

So, if you are interested, click below for 15 minutes you will never get back.  For me, it is a moment in time, captured.

Happy New Year!

The Black's

I met Jeff in nursing school.  He sat next to me in lecture and we hit it off right away because we were both writers with English degrees making our way through nursing school.  Now we are both nurses who are photography hobbyists (who dream of being writers).  

Jeff is an amazing photographer, and I often call him up when I have a wedding to shoot.  I trust his technique, and his eye is insane.  So naturally, when he asked me to photograph him with his son, I was honored to do so.  (I hope you like them, Friend!)

Here are a few shots of this father/son duo:


Some Shows are Worth Seeing Again

I've been the best audience member attending this girl's Story Time for about 4.5 years now.  It only gets better and better every time.  I love how animated she has always been, and how the stories are starting to make sense to me now.  But it makes me a little sad that the stories are starting to make sense to me now.

I love that the television is on, but she would rather read the book.  I love that she engages me in every turn of the page.  I love that she has learned this from me.  It makes me feel as if I've given her the tiniest of treasures with which she can tuck herself away in a corner and lose herself for hours in its shiny magic.

I love these pieces of time that we cut out for ourselves to paste into the backs of our minds.  One day one of them will come loose, and I can only hope she will smile when she remembers me and how much I loved her reading of "Fish is Fish".    

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